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As technologies integrate with our physical world, take autonomous decisions, and influence the ways we understand the world and ourselves, we need to keep a sharp eye on ethical and societal questions. This is why DesignLab chose Responsible Design as one of its three focus areas: we need to integrate societal needs and concerns in technological developments.
Instead of pushing technology into society, Responsible Design offers a framework to develop technologies from the perspective of societal goals, challenges, and values of its users. In this way, we bring together engineers, social scientists, users and policy-makers to let ethics matter when it can still make a real difference: in the design of technologies, and in their embedding in society.
Designing responsibly, with awareness of ethics and societal impact, is at the heart of all activities at DesignLab. DesignLab is currently creating a University of Twente-wide research programme on this theme. Cutting through the levels of faculties, institutes and programmes, it will connect societal challenges to practices of innovation and design. For this, we will collaborate with a large variety of partners. As a part of this programme, we are also developing a manual and toolkit for Responsible Design, based on the DesignLab method.
Responsible Design is intertwined with the other two focus areas of DesignLab: Citizen Science and a Transdisciplinary Approach.